DoraAn orangutan returns home
by Inga Sieg and Axel Warnstedt
Chapter 1New home
The truck is carrying very special cargo: a young orangutan. It is traveling from a quarantine station in northwestern Sumatra to Bukit Tigapuluh, which is to become Dora's home.
The national park is one of Sumatra's largest remaining rainforests.
It has recently become home to orangutans again.
Chapter 2Jungle school
The jungle school is located in a clearing
on the edge of the national park.
Here, young apes are taught the skills
they need to survive in the jungle.
Bad luck of the draw
In Indonesia and other Asian countries,
thousands of orangutans are at the mercy of humans.
Young orangutans normally stay with their mothers for eight years, learning everything they need to know. In the orangutan school, trainers take on the role of maternal teacher.
First day of school
It's time to leave the cage and head into the forest.
Dora doesn't like getting her feet wet.
Every night, in order to protect against
parasites and foes, such as snakes,
orangutans make a new nest to sleep in.
But Dora prefers hers to be ready-made.
Classes are cancelled for the day.
The animals need to learn to work for their fruit.
Flowers and leaves
Termites and other insects
Time to play
Back to freedom
looking for the ideal place to reintroduce her.
the other animals in the forest.
Going it alone
Her new life has begun.
Chapter 5Vanishing forest
chainsaws are eating their way through the rainforest.
Only a small area of the rainforest is still intact.
Tropical wood is in demand.
It is produced from the fruit of oil palms.
Indonesia is the largest global producer.
Areas where rainforests once stood
have been turned into sprawling monocultures.
No palm oil for Dora
Almost every second product sold in the supermarket contains palm oil. As such, consumers play a role in determining the fate of threatened species — and the rainforest.
Two years later...
Life in the forest
Chapter 6Life in the forest
to more and more orangutans.
Dora hasn't been seen for a while now.
Where is Dora?
She likely heard Peter a while before she appeared.
She's now eight years old and much bigger.
But she's still very trusting.
She regularly returns to the area around the station
to show off her son, Radja.
Concerns about Dora
Dora seems listless and has lost weight.
She's even finding it hard to climb.
On the mend
A few days later,
Dora has clearly forgotten about the needle.
She seems back to her old self.
Chapter 7Problem children
as smoothly as with Dora.
pregnant and doesn't know where to go.
Life in the wild is clearly not really her thing.
She hangs in a tree all day waiting to be fed.
The 20 year-old male had to be caught, and now lives in a cage near the station.
Motley monkey crew
The apes in Bukit Tigapuluh come from everywhere.
Because each one has a unique past,
they are all at different stages of their development.
Still early days
it is still early days. So far, 170 animals have been reintroduced to the wild in Bukit Tigapuluh.
But it will take twice that number to create a sustainable population.
On the brink
Chapter 8On the brink
Half a century ago, there were four times as many.
The last of a kind
Orangutans are on the Red List of Threatened Species. Without enough forest,
Dora and others like her don't stand a chance.
by Inga Sieg and Axel Warnstedt
Daniel Rosengren und Axel Warnstedt
Assistant in Indonesia:
Ahmad Bahtiazhar Rodhial Falah
With thanks to
Thank you to
Frankfurt Zoological Society (ZGF)
International Climate Initiative (IKI)
To be continued...
to have a baby. We'll be back to see how she's doing.